In a previous blog, I discussed the pros and cons of working with a contract HIM firm. Now I’d like to dive into the advantages of working remotely and how this arrangement can enhance one’s work-life balance.
Picture this: You wake up in the morning, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and embark on your commute to work—that is, you take the 10 or 15 steps from your kitchen to your home office.
The rest of your day is up to you. As long as you complete your work assignments, you have the flexibility to take breaks when needed, structure your own schedule, and perhaps even spend more time with family and friends. With an autonomous workday, you can complete your work around doctor’s appointments or even your child’s mid-day holiday party. This is essentially no different than employees in the onsite working world who accomplish tasks in between the infamous water cooler conversations with coworkers or mid-day coffee runs for team meetings.
Welcome to the world of remote workers.
In the HIM profession—which continues to be largely dominated by women—a remote work arrangement is particularly appealing for working mothers and others who seek a more balanced life. This balance often allows individuals to continue employment during times of transition, including the birth of a child, moving to a new home, or caring for an elderly family member.
When it comes to paid time off for these types of transition, today’s employees don’t have many options. For example, a majority of companies don’t offer a paid maternity leave. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid time off for caregiving purposes, many individuals cannot afford to stop working. A remote arrangement provides the flexibility that individuals need to become ‘work at home mothers.’ It allows individuals to complete work assignments while also managing personal responsibilities.
There are certainly plenty of other benefits of working remotely. First, there’s no commute. Say goodbye to shoveling snow at 5am, driving through torrential downpours, or sitting in traffic for an extra hour. Second, there’s no need to buy work clothes (nobody will know whether you conduct a conference call while dressed in your pajamas). Third, there’s the joy of flexible hours. There’s no ‘clocking in and out’ necessarily—once the assignments are given, it’s up to you to determine how you’ll complete them in the established timeframe.
Technological advancements continue to make remote work options possible. Over time, these options have grown significantly. Between 2013 and 2014, FlexJobs saw a 26% increase in the number of remote job listings. FlexJobs also found that home workers report 25% lower stress levels. Sixty-five percent of workers feel more productive when working from home. People who work exclusively from home earn more than their in-office counterparts.
Consider these questions to determine whether a remote work arrangement is right for you:
- Are you looking for a more balanced life?
- Do you seek a change of pace or have the desire to try something new?
- Is your home environment generally conducive to being productive?
- Are you the type of individual who thrives on autonomy and requires little oversight?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, a work-at-home arrangement might be a good fit. At MRA, we recognize the value of our employees and view them as our most reliable, respected, and relevant assets. Therefore, we offer flexible remote work options so we can retain talented and driven individuals.
Stay tuned for our next topic that focuses on how we keep our employee retention rate so high. Hint: it involves our culture. Competitive pay, benefits, continuous training and education, and growth opportunities will be discussed. Until then, I’m open to your thoughts on remote work. Please share your personal experiences.